New England's Market during the 18th and 19th Centuries : Scandal in the Cheese Market
The following is a series of letters regarding cases of food poisoning in the summer of 1882. Together, the letters link a potential cause (delayed shipment of cheese leading to its prolonged stay in improper storage) to the food poisoning. It is important to take notice that this artisan cheese did not cause food poisoning because it was made using unpasteurized milk, which is interesting for those who believe in the standardization of food. Perhaps a further look into the climate conidtions at the time in August of 1882 would reveal more about the difficulties Vermonters were having keeping the cheese. Another thought to consider is that at the time Burlington was part of a coach line that connected to New York and Philadelphia, so most if not all of the dairy products that were being made and
August 7th : This is a letter to supplier Smith Wright from B.J. Andrews explaining how his brother is always late when arriving by freight. He goes on to explain how it would not be tolerated anywhere else and to shape up.
August 8th : This is a letter from a store owner, Genery Stevens, to his supplier, Smith Wright concerning his last order of cheese. Stevens thinks that the cheese is going bad due to the heat and lets Wright know that a dozen people in the town have "fallen ill to it."
Commision Merchants, August 9th : This another follow up letter from Stevens to Wright. Stevens says that even more people have gotten sick after eating the cheese. Stevens says that the most recent cheese that had made a family sick is going to be tested by the "chemist" and that he hopes, "there will be nothing found that is pronounced poison."